PHUKET: Two Nigerian men have been arrested in this southern island province for suspected involvement in a so-called romance scam.
Pol Col Akanit Danpitaksat, the Patong police chief, identified the pair as Nkemakolam Benson Ugonna, 21, and Osuchukwu Chukwuemeka Malachy, 19.
The arrests came after Patong police were asked by the Songkhla immigration police to track down suspects in a romance scam who posted profiles of good-looking men on Facebook to strike up conversations with women in search of foreign partners.
Police said after winning their trust, the suspects would give their addresses and personal information in order to get the victims to believe that they possess some valuable assets, which could only be accessed by sending over some money to cover the legal fees involved.
They tricked several women into transferring money to them, Pol Col Akanit said yesterday. The amount was not disclosed.
The police investigated and followed the two Nigerians, who were staying in Patong. Security camera footage showed the two had frequently withdrawn money from ATMs in the area.
A check revealed the two had overstayed their visas and might have been involved in the romance scam, leading to their arrests. They were charged with overstaying their visas and defrauding others through their scams.